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Carlisle Montafi Ranch Zinfandel 2015

Zinfandel from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
  • WS94
  • RP92
15% ABV
  • RP95
  • JD95
  • WS93
  • WS96
  • RP95
  • WE93
  • RP94
  • WS91
  • RP94
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15% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Medium garnet-ruby. True to the vintage (at least for Zinfandel), very red-fruited with aromas of red cherry, currant, and the trademark whiff of eucalyptus (although not as prominent as some previous vintages). The wine enters fresh and snappy with flavors of red currants, cherries, and a touch of pomegranate. Youthful tannins emerge in the fruit-filled finish, indicating that this should age well. Enjoy from release through 2027.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WS 94
Wine Spectator
Luscious, complex and expressive, with floral raspberry jam aromas and supple black cherry, bay leaf and cracked pepper flavors that glide lithely toward the finish. Drink now through 2028. 663 cases made.
RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Another big boy (15.4%) is the 2015 Zinfandel Montafi Ranch, which is 87% Zinfandel and 13% mixed black varieties. Officer has always done a great job with this Zinfandel, and this is another beauty. The vintage seems to have produced this sort of fleshy, flamboyant and dramatic Zinfandel with loads of forward fruit, plenty of blackberry, raspberry and cherry notes as well as some licorice, charcoal and earth. It is delicious already, even though it’s a barrel sample. Drink it over the next 5-7 years. 90-92 points
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Carlisle

Carlisle

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Carlisle, Russian River, Sonoma County, California
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Carlisle is a small Sonoma County winery specializing in the production of old-vine, vineyard designated Zinfandels and red Rhone varieties (Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, and Petite Sirah). They have also recently added their first whites, two blends from historic, old-vine vineyards plus Sonoma County's first ever Grüner Veltliner. While they like their wines to be bold, rich, and intensely flavored, each reflecting a sense of place, its origins in the vineyard, they also strive to create wines of balance, complexity, and perhaps most importantly, pleasure.

Carlisle's goal is always the same - grow and source outstanding fruit, do as little as possible to it, and bottle outstanding, pleasurable wine at the fairest price possible.

Russian River

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A standout region for its decidedly Californian take on Burgundian varieties, the Russian River Valley is named for the eponymous river that flows through it. While there are warm pockets of the AVA, it is mostly a cool-climate growing region thanks to breezes and fog from the nearby Pacific Ocean.

Chardonnay and Pinot Noir reign supreme in Russian River, with the best examples demonstrating a unique combination of richness and restraint. The cool weather makes Russian River an ideal AVA for sparkling wine production, utilizing the aforementioned varieties. Zinfandel also performs exceptionally well here. Within the Russian River Valley lie the smaller appellations of Chalk Hill and Green Valley. The former, farther from the ocean, is relatively warm, with a focus on red and white Bordeaux varieties. The latter is the coolest, foggiest parcel of the Russian River Valley and is responsible for outstanding Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Zinfandel

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Unapologetically bold, spice-driven and jammy, Zinfandel is often thought of as California’s flagship grape. And it fact it owns this title by having the ability to adapt to the states’ many microclimates and landscapes, producing unique expressions of the grape throughout. Zinfandel thrives in California’s Central Coast, as well throughout Sonoma County, parts of Napa Valley, the Sierra Foothills, Lodi and Paso Robles.

Zinfandel was born in Croatia and later made its way to southern Italy where it became known as Primitivo. The astute imperial nursery of Vienna collected specimens of the vine and acted as the source of its importation to New England by George Gibbs, probably in 1829. Eventually, making its way to California around the Gold Rush of 1849, Zinfandel found its new home, parading the true American spirit.

In the Glass

Zinfandel commonly expresses powerful notes of dark plum, blackberry, sweet spice, dark chocolate and licorice. Very ripe examples may express a hint of dried fruit like raisin, fig or prune. But Zinfandel grown in cooler, coastal zones often expresses red fruit, black pepper and fresh herbal characteristics of juniper and menthol.

Perfect Pairings

Zinfandel is a powerfully flavored wine, mingling happily with bold food like brisket, lamb shanks, pork ribs or anything barbecued. More delicate Zins work with pork, lamb curry and even Ceasar Salad or Salad Nicoise.

Sommelier Secret

Thanks to its popularity both for home winemaking and as communion wine, many Zinfandel vines were able to survive prohibition, leading to the abundance of "old vine" Zinfandels. These low-yielding, ancient vines tend to produce wine that is deeply concentrated, delicately perfumed and decidedly complex.

PSLCCA110_2015 Item# 223774